Next-gen­er­a­tion plan cru­cial Flex­i­ble fam­ily op­tions

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FIT FOR BUSINESS - Emma Blake

START­ING a busi­ness is a mo­men­tous event in any small com­pany owner’s life.

What fol­lows is a long, con­sis­tent ef­fort to make the busi­ness a suc­cess and keep it that way.

But when it comes to de­cid­ing what to do with that com­pany when the founder has had enough, more thought and en­ergy is re­quired.

Small and medium-en­ter­prise own­ers say busi­ness plan­ning is their big­gest con­cern while suc­ces­sion plan­ning is their sec­ond big­gest worry, Pros­per­ity Ad­vis­ers’ 2016/17 SME Re­search Re­port found.

A busi­ness can be all-con­sum­ing men­tally, phys­i­cally and fi­nan­cially. An owner’s home and su­per are of­ten tied up in the com­pany’s cap­i­tal and if they want to re­alise that cap­i­tal they need to put a strat­egy in place very early, ac­cord­ing to Al­lan McKe­own, co-founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of busi­ness and ac­coun­tancy firm Pros­per­ity Ad­vis­ers.

“Many might have an idea (about suc­ces­sion) in the back of their mind but those that make a plan will in­cor­po­rate it as a part of due process and have a proper rig­or­ous think about it,” Mr McKe­own said.

He said there were two as­pects to suc­ces­sion: man­age­rial suc­ces­sion where you re­cruit tal­ent into the busi­ness to grow it, or to even­tu­ally run it; and how to re­alise the cap­i­tal in­vested in the busi­ness so you can re­tire.

No mat­ter how small your op­er­a­tion, Mr McKe­own ad­vised seek­ing ex­ter­nal ad­vice from an ex­pert or a trusted men­tor.

“Have a catch-up ev­ery three, six or even 12 months about how the busi­ness is go­ing and what your op­tions are,” he said.

It is also im­por­tant to have a solid un­der­stand­ing of ex­actly how much your busi­ness is worth and, if you are plan­ning to sell it, not to leave it too late.

“Peo­ple have an opaque view of what their busi­ness is worth. You might be forced into sell­ing it sooner than ex­pected due to ill­ness or fi­nan­cial mis­for­tune. That cre­ates pres­sure and you may have to sell at a value that’s less than you were hop­ing for,” Mr McKe­own said.

“As early as pos­si­ble you need to start di­ver­si­fy­ing your in­vest­ment, which is hard when you are in­vest­ing ev­ery­thing into grow­ing a busi­ness. That might in­clude adding money to sav­ings, su­per or an in­vest­ment prop­erty.”

Fam­ily busi­ness ad­viser Philip Pryor agreed that plan­ning well ahead was key to an ef­fec­tive suc­ces­sion plan.

“In a fam­ily busi­ness you need to be think­ing at least 40 years ahead,” Pryor said.

If you do plan to pass the busi­ness on to the next gen­er­a­tion, or hire an ex­ter­nal chief ex­ec­u­tive to run it, you need to make sure the founder has a role un­der the new lead­er­ship. JUST three months since estab­lish­ing his fam­ily busi­ness, Musa Serin has big plans for his two sons and daugh­ter who help op­er­ate the Zara Cafe in Can­ning­ton.

Mr Serin (47) plans to ex­pand the fledg­ling busi­ness spe­cial­is­ing in Turk­ish cui­sine, en­vis­ag­ing fran­chises and a larger restau­rant in the fu­ture.

He said he hoped his chil­dren would help him with his plans by op­er­at­ing fran­chises around Perth once estab­lished.

But he is re­al­is­tic about the dif­fi­cul­ties of small busi­ness and said his son Enes (19) and daugh­ter Bursra (22) had al­ter­na­tive ca­reers they could go to if they no longer wanted to be a part of the busi­ness.

“I am go­ing to teach them now so they can run the fran­chises,” Mr Serin said.

“Busi­ness is al­ways a bit risky.

“They have other ca­reers they can go to. They can go their own way if they want to.

“My son, who is 19, is a qual­i­fied auto elec­tri­cian; he does the ser­vice in the cafe and makes the ke­babs. My daugh­ter is a qual­i­fied teacher’s as­sis­tant and she helps with ser­vice.”

His youngest son Esat (13) helps in the cafe af­ter school.

Mr Serin’s wife, Emine, is the cafe’s chef, pro­vid­ing Turk­ish cui­sine for breakfast, lunch and din­ner.

“I know what I am do­ing and I love what I am do­ing,” Mr Serin said.

“Ser­vice has to be great and the prod­uct has to be fresh.”

He said his dream was to open a two to three-storey restau­rant that in­cluded a steak house and ke­bab house, with an en­tire level ded­i­cated to sweets. He has no plans to re­tire. “I am not in­ter­ested in re­tir­ing and stay­ing at home do­ing noth­ing. If I do re­tire, I will do some sort of work at home,” he said.

Musa Serin (right) and his son Enes at the fam­ily-run Zara Cafe in Can­ning­ton.

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